Ad Critique 6

AXE BLACK CHILL SURVEYThe ad I chose this week is the Axe Black Chill deodorant for men. I retrieved it from Prnewswire.com. This ad is supposed to be demonstrating how women have become “hotter” over the years. They base this on surveys they took from 516 males ages 18 to 24, and 484 females also ranging from 18 to 24. It goes through various ‘facts’ to explain this hotness epidemic and claims that this deodorant will help men keep themselves in check around all this supposed hotness.
The very top of the ad shows a timeline of the years in which women’s hotness has evolved. The first thing I noticed is that every woman shown across each marked year is a thin, white woman with brunette hair in the appropriate era bathing suit. So my first conclusion is that, according to Axe, this is what a hot woman is supposed to look like. It wouldn’t be so bad; however these women are clearly not in a ‘natural’ habitat. They are clearly being used as objects in this timeline. These women are posing for you, the consumer. The biggest give away is the outfit. Unless you are in a photo shoot, most women do not parade around the beach or the pool in heels. But heels are sexy, and sex sells, “Advertising is the foundation and economic lifeblood of the mass media” – Kilbourne.
The ad slowly pipes down in a serious of facts that begin the reasoning why guys are ‘losing their cool’ (focusing on the points women’s appearances). The first point says, “Hemlines are getting shorter”. It is accompanied by a figure of a woman’s leg with a knee length skirt being raised. Women didn’t wake up one day and decide to ‘be hotter’. They woke up, picked up a magazine and saw the woman on page 2 was wearing a short skirt followed by the tagline that referenced why that short skirt is hot this season so she went out and bought it. So based off this advertisement’s reasoning, a woman who wears a shorter skirt is hot. Next topic states, “Heels are getting taller”. Okay so, a woman has to where high heels to be hot according to this. This next topic point is where I find it to get a little disturbing, “Attractive women are having more children” and apparently most of this children are female. Okay so how is that relevant to why woman are getting hotter? That just means these women are producing attractive children. And also that sends a pretty strange message in my opinion. Like, “sorry you and that attractive woman didn’t work out but it’s cool! She has daughters!” GROSS.
The next point regarding women states, “91% of guys agree girls are getting hotter in all social aspects including: video games, movies and TV, comic books and sports”. Well of course they are. It is mostly men who play Grant Theft Auto. How are they ever going to sell a copy if they don’t have a half-naked woman sprawled across the cover? Regardless of the race, the woman is always thin with huge breasts. The next few topics go into symptoms of guys exerting nervousness around hot girls. Towards the end it states that girls are taking notice of guys who show these signs. I think most people can tell when anyone is nervous, regardless of gender. It then ends the “problem” of this epidemic by stating 54% of women find this nervousness to be a turn off. So the ad recommends the solution is to use this deodorant, Black Chill to put out this ‘fire’ of hotness.
So this ad is trying to justify its reasoning using statistics from surveys they have taken. This method seems clever enough however it doesn’t actually say the specific demographic of the men and women they survey. For example, are the women who answered these surveys realistic looking women? Or are they the women who were shown in the timeline? Where the men Hispanic? White ? Educated? Also when you look at their information and break it down, women aren’t getting hotter, it is just become more acceptable for women to be broadcasted wearing very little – as long as your white and skinny according to Axe. I love how the last topic states, “Guys stated they would feel more attractive if they were more confident, smelled nice and had good grooming habits.” A man doesn’t need to lose weight to feel more attractive even if he is overweight? Double standard if you ask me. Kilbourne even states, “Advertising images do not cause these problems, but they contribute to them by creating a climate in which the marketing of women’s bodies–the sexual sell and dismemberment, distorted body image ideals and the use of children as sex objects–is seen as acceptable”. As a woman, I would feel more attractive if a man can find me attractive while I am fully clothed.

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